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Hit the Beach Little Elm Beach: This is the biggest public beach in North Texas with 6 acres of quality beach sand (groomed daily during high season), a dedicated swimming area and 10 sand volleyball courts. It also features amenities such as fire pits and a surf shack where you can rent paddleboards, bicycles and kayaks. “The beach is a great place to relax, get some sun and make family memories,” says Erin Mudie, communications coordinator for the town of Little Elm. 701 W. Eldorado Pkwy., Little Elm Stewart Creek Park: Located on Lake Lewisville, this park in The Colony has a playground just steps away from the beach if the kiddos get restless. 3700 Sparks Road, The Colony Meadowmere Park: When you’re finished swimming and chilling out on the sandy beach at this Lake Grapevine park, enjoy a family picnic on the covered tables or a romp at the playground. Kayak rentals are available if you’re feeling adventurous. 3000 Meadowmere Lane, Grapevine Isle du Bois State Park: This large swimming area on Lake Ray Roberts is sheltered from the wind, and the lake has a soft, sandy bottom. Once you’ve dried off, cook up some hot dogs and burgers on the outdoor grills, challenge your friends on the volleyball court or take a stroll to see some wildlife. “Lake Ray Roberts has a plentiful population of wildlife around,” says Wes Campbell of BendaRod Fishing Guide Service. “I see deer every time I go.” Isle du Bois State Park Road, Pilot Point Lake Park: On the southwest side of Lake Lewisville, this 662-acre park has a shallow beach area. The swimming area is not roped off, so keep your eyes on kids at all times. There are a number of shady spots in this beautiful part of the park as well as picnic tables. 600 Sandy Beach Rd, Lewisville

Stewart Creek Park in The Colony

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Visit Bob Jones Nature Center & Preserve Sitting on more than 700 acres of beautiful land is Bob Jones Nature Center & Preserve in Southlake, which opened in 2008. The educational center offers programs for everyone from toddlers to seniors and draws visitors from across the nation to explore the Cross Timbers ecosystem and hike more than 20 miles of trails. The center can also be used to access the Walnut Grove National Recreation Trail, which is U.S. Army Corps of Engineer land. Within the Cross Timbers habitat, you’ll see trees and prairie land that extend from Kansas and Oklahoma to the Brazos River north of Waco. You’ll find a host of native plants including the bearded iris, American beautyberry, horseherb, daylily, oxalis, red yucca and sunflower goldeneye. You may also see coyotes, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, bobcats and foxes. Back before the land became inhabited, bison, prairie dogs, mountain lions and black bears also gathered there. The center hosts a preschool that helps kids gain firsthand knowledge of nature with hikes and outdoor story time. Adults and teens can sign up for composting workshops, and people of all ages are welcome on guided hikes. On Saturdays, families can participate in group activities, scavenger hunts, hikes and arts and crafts. 355 Bob Jones Road, Southlake, bjnc.org

Photo courtesy of Blaine Crimmins

Craving a cool-down from the summer heat? The whole family can soak up the sun at these lakeside beaches:

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Denton County Magazine May-June 2019  

Denton County Magazine May-June 2019  

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